Tibet had started to depress me, and I was looking forward to leaving. Strangely, it almost seemed worse for not being as bad as I had always heard. There were definite benefits of Chinese support, and I was impressed by the idealism and dedication of some of the young Han teachers I had met. But at the same time, most efforts to develop the region were badly planned, and it was frustrating to see so much money and work invested in a poor country and so much unhappiness returned. And often I felt that the common people, who knew little of Tibet's complicated historical and cultural issues, were being manipulated by the government in ways they didn't understand. But although I was certain that nobody was truly happy (most of the Han didn't like being there, and most of the Tibetans certainly weren't happy to have them), I wasn't sure who was pulling the strings. One could go straight to the top and probably find the same helplessness, the same strings. It was mostly the irrevocable mistakes of history, but it was also money—simple economic pressure that drove a mother away from her son to a place where the people did not want her.
China's domineering presence in Tibet, motivated simultaneously by nationalist and idealistic ideals similar to those in the minds of the missionaries and settlers of the 19th Century American West, was doomed to provoke conflict. And reading this article, it's hard to imagine how China could guarantee some measure of autonomy to Tibet even were they so inclined (which they are not.) In the end there can only be two results from China's occupation of China; independence, or complete assimilation.